These questions and more are the type those who have never volunteered always ask. Offering your time or skills for free actually comes with many benefits for you personally as money is not the only incentive in this world. You can make a real difference to someone’s life and inspire others, along with many other altruistic benefits, but that doesn't mean you won't gain from the experience too.
It is reported that there are health benefits for volunteers in both mental health and physical well-being. Besides being a rewarding experience, volunteering enables you to gain independence and confidence, meet new people and develop new skills that may improve your studies or job prospects.
Build Your Confidence
If you've been unemployed for a while, or have retired, it can be hard to remain positive without something to look forward to. Getting the motivation to volunteer means you do leave the house regularly, and you have a reason to get dressed each day. And those looking for their first job are in a better position when they have volunteering experience on their CV. And if you're looking to change career, volunteering is an excellent way to try the job out and see if it really is right for you.
Meet New People
You will have come together because you all want to help so you already have something in common. Yes, you will likely meet people from different backgrounds who you have never mixed with before but use this opportunity to break down prejudices and make new friends.
Working with a charity can improve the lives of many people and will leave you with a new outlook on life. Overseas charities are often looking for people for teaching and medical assistance and your skills could be your ticket to visiting distant lands. Even if you don't have those specialist skills there can be building projects that could never happen without volunteers paying to attend and offering their time for free. Why should you have to pay for your travel? Because you can. It's as simple as that. If a charity needs help building a hospital/school/sanitation system, etc then the money they raise should go on those projects and not your flights.
Volunteering to read with school children, help to marshal a local council-run public event, mentor at an evening club for teens, or do your neighbour's shopping. Giving back to your community makes it a better place and you feel the benefit as it's your home turf. It's not the 'Big Society' dictating to you, it's being human and caring about others around you.
Have you tried volunteering? And if not, why not?